Cruisers Forum
 


Join CruisersForum Today

Reply
 
Thread Tools Rate Thread Display Modes
Old 30-09-2015, 14:23   #1
Registered User
 
mbuckely's Avatar

Join Date: Feb 2012
Boat: Fountaine Pajot Lipari 41
Posts: 71
Can we get from Norfolk to Elizabeth City via Dismal Swamp in 1 day?

We have a 40' catamaran that we are delivering from Annapolis to Abaco in November. We draw <4 feet. Mast height under 65. Two 30hp Volvos move us along smartly. I know there are 2 locks we need to deal with and some bridges along the way.

Is it reasonable to expect to be able to cover this distance given the obstacles?

Thank you
Mark
S/V Irish Rover


Sent from my iPhone using Cruisers Sailing Forum
__________________

__________________
mbuckely is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 30-09-2015, 16:21   #2
Senior Cruiser
 
colemj's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Presently on US East Coast
Boat: Manta 40 "Reach"
Posts: 10,049
Images: 12
Re: Can we get from Norfolk to Elizabeth City via Dismal Swamp in 1 day?

Not really. That is ~50-55 nm and you have a couple of bridges that only open at certain times and two locks that take time to get through. And if there is anyone else in your way, you can spend several hours doing 4kts until you get a chance to pass them. November doesn't have a lot of daylight hours and you can't do this at night.

If time is the issue for a delivery, why not just go offshore from Norfolk to Abaco? It's about 700nm, so could be done in 4-5 days. You will be in the Abacos before you would have been in Beaufort through the ICW.

Mark
__________________

__________________
www.svreach.com

You do not need a parachute to skydive. You only need a parachute to skydive twice.
colemj is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 30-09-2015, 16:28   #3
Senior Cruiser
 
FSMike's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Bahamas/Florida
Boat: Solaris Sunstar 36' catamaran
Posts: 2,654
Images: 5
Re: Can we get from Norfolk to Elizabeth City via Dismal Swamp in 1 day?

I've done it twice, once on a 38' monohull, and once on a 45' cat. Don't remember what month the trips were but the mono would have been in spring, and the cat probably summer.
Get an early start.
Pray you don't meet a big multi going the other way.
By the way, it's traditional to hit a tree with your rigging (at least for some of us lol).
__________________
Sail Fast Live Slow
FSMike is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 30-09-2015, 18:06   #4
Registered User
 
mbuckely's Avatar

Join Date: Feb 2012
Boat: Fountaine Pajot Lipari 41
Posts: 71
Re: Can we get from Norfolk to Elizabeth City via Dismal Swamp in 1 day?

Not a pure "delivery". I have 4 full days with "non offshore" folks who would would enjoy the time down the Bay and a day on the ICW. Plan was to switch out my bay cruisers for my offshore boys and take Hatteras out of the go no go decision.

On the trip up from Marsh Harbour in the spring we ducked into Beaufort NC to avoid Hatteras issues and made it past Norfolk in two days using the Virginia Cut though it did include some night time travel which was not fun when we encountered south bound commercial traffic.

Maybe skip Dismal this time and go VC to Coinjock?


Sent from my iPhone using Cruisers Sailing Forum
__________________
mbuckely is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 30-09-2015, 18:21   #5
Senior Cruiser
 
Vasco's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: Toronto
Boat: CS36Merlin, "La Belle Aurore" Ben393 "Breathless"
Posts: 7,135
Re: Can we get from Norfolk to Elizabeth City via Dismal Swamp in 1 day?

Take the Virginia Cut. Faster and easier. Go past Coinjock and anchor just before the Albemarle.
__________________
Rick I
Toronto in summer, Bahamas in winter.
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/beneteau393/
Vasco is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 30-09-2015, 20:02   #6
Registered User
 
CaptNemoO2's Avatar

Join Date: Dec 2013
Location: Long Island
Boat: Beneteau Oceanis 510
Posts: 112
Re: Can we get from Norfolk to Elizabeth City via Dismal Swamp in 1 day?

The first time I made that trip (out of 2) was in mid November (11/18/2011). We sailed nonstop from Long Island right to the Dismal Swamp. We rounded Norfolk right at sunrise and decided to keep on trucking on. Had we put a little more pep in our step, we would have made the first lock opening. We got there just as they closed the gates, so we tied up, and for the first time in 45 hours, we took a break. It was a rough ride down. We waited for the second opening, which gets you to the last opening at the second set. By the time it got dark, we were out of the difficult part of the Pasquotank River. The worst part was the railroad bridge right before Elizabeth City. We had trouble determining where the opening was, being or first time through. After that, it was a piece of cake. Tied up at the free docks and got some real food.

Sent from my SCH-I545 using Cruisers Sailing Forum mobile app
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	1443664741332.jpg
Views:	125
Size:	58.9 KB
ID:	110276   Click image for larger version

Name:	1443664769727.jpg
Views:	121
Size:	89.8 KB
ID:	110277  

Click image for larger version

Name:	1443664851380.jpg
Views:	123
Size:	98.1 KB
ID:	110278   Click image for larger version

Name:	1443664879882.jpg
Views:	126
Size:	98.1 KB
ID:	110279  

__________________
CaptNemoO2 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-10-2015, 06:32   #7
Marine Service Provider
 
AnchorageGuy's Avatar

Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Wherever the boat is!
Boat: Marine Trader 34DC
Posts: 4,618
Re: Can we get from Norfolk to Elizabeth City via Dismal Swamp in 1 day?

Sorry but your not going to be able to do this in November given the number of daylight hours. Besides the lock delays, bridges are not an issue, they open with the locks, there is a speed limit and no wake zone along the entire canal. And they know when you leave one lock and arrive at another. Chuck
__________________
Chesapeake Bay, ICW Hampton Roads To Key West, The Gulf Coast, The Bahamas

The Trawler Beach House
Voyages Of Sea Trek
AnchorageGuy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-10-2015, 09:55   #8
Registered User

Join Date: Aug 2014
Posts: 17
Re: Can we get from Norfolk to Elizabeth City via Dismal Swamp in 1 day?

Skip the Dismal Swamp. Aptly named. The alternate route is much more pleasant for the sightseers on board.
__________________
Var Korall is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-10-2015, 09:55   #9
Registered User

Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Abaco, Bahamas/ Western NC
Boat: Nothing large at the moment
Posts: 820
Re: Can we get from Norfolk to Elizabeth City via Dismal Swamp in 1 day?

I will second the nay sayers, too many bridges to deal with. Also second the offshore advice but ducking under Hatteras makes sense. Look us up in Abaco
__________________
Tingum is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-10-2015, 11:50   #10
Marine Service Provider
 
AnchorageGuy's Avatar

Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Wherever the boat is!
Boat: Marine Trader 34DC
Posts: 4,618
Re: Can we get from Norfolk to Elizabeth City via Dismal Swamp in 1 day?

We have been doing the ICW from Norfolk to Key West for almost 30 years. The Dismal Swamp route is our preferred route and we seldom don't use it. Having said that, it isn't the best choice if your in a hurry. It's a very interesting and scenic trip. Lots of options to tie up or anchor for free. Chuck
__________________
Chesapeake Bay, ICW Hampton Roads To Key West, The Gulf Coast, The Bahamas

The Trawler Beach House
Voyages Of Sea Trek
AnchorageGuy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-10-2015, 10:32   #11
Registered User

Join Date: Sep 2015
Location: Elizabeth City, NC
Boat: 1979 Watkins 27
Posts: 71
Re: Can we get from Norfolk to Elizabeth City via Dismal Swamp in 1 day?

If you like bumping logs and biting yellow flies then the swamp is great.


When I came through in the beginning of September I made the 10:30 lock opening coming from Norflok and made it through to make the last lock opening at south mills, 3:30, but I wasn't in a cat. Be aware of the dredging that might be going on you may have a tight squeeze to get past it.
__________________
chadc is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-10-2015, 10:51   #12
Senior Cruiser
 
S/V Antares's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Annapolis, Bahamas
Boat: 1983 Gulfstar 36
Posts: 1,249
Images: 1
Re: Can we get from Norfolk to Elizabeth City via Dismal Swamp in 1 day?

We like the Dismal. Timing is everything. If you get the first lock (Deep Creek @8:30 am) you can get through the last (South Mills) before the last (3:30) opening. The actual canal is only 22 miles. Some lock through and anchor closer to Elizabeth city or if you do not mind running in the dark you might make it.


There are free docks just after the north locks , at the welcome center and at the south lock. We normally make the south bridge but do not lock through and tie up at the bulkhead at South Mills between the lift bridge and the lock. We get the early lock and have a full day in Elizabeth City.

If I had guests I would take the 11;00 lock, stay at the welcome center and visit the museum.
__________________
Will & Muffin
Lucy the dog

"Yes, well.. perhaps some more wine" (Julia Child)
S/V Antares is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 16-10-2015, 11:19   #13
Registered User
 
MapleSugarMan's Avatar

Join Date: Mar 2013
Location: Fort Pierce, FL USA
Boat: 1980 Cal 39 Mk II Type 3
Posts: 29
Re: Can we get from Norfolk to Elizabeth City via Dismal Swamp in 1 day?

I'd be amazed if you did. You'd need to go about 10-12 knots to do it.
__________________

__________________
Scott
MapleSugarMan is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Dismal Swamp or Great Dismal Swamp for more water? siroismi Atlantic & the Caribbean 8 30-10-2013 15:48
Dismal Swamp to Elizabeth City Tropic1 Cruising News & Events 4 30-10-2011 10:06
The Great Dismal Swamp lorenzo b Atlantic & the Caribbean 45 26-10-2010 18:39
Dismal Swamp Dredging Tropic1 Cruising News & Events 3 20-10-2010 10:27
Dismal Swamp vs Albemarle Canals tackdriver Atlantic & the Caribbean 10 11-10-2009 08:04



Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 04:18.


Google+
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Social Knowledge Networks
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

ShowCase vBulletin Plugins by Drive Thru Online, Inc.